Angela Williams Stands Tall In History
No one had a bigger and more illustrious career over 100 meters at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships than Angela Williams of Southern California.
Williams had a rocket start that propelled her to four consecutive titles in the event from 1999 to 2002, the only such collection by a man or woman at this meet. Three others have won three 100-meter crowns in a career – but none have matched Williams’ prowess in the straight sprint.
Back in 1999, Williams burst onto the scene when she beat defending champion Debbie Ferguson of Georgia. Not only did Williams give the Women of Troy their first track title in meet history, she also became the first female freshman to win a short sprint in meet history (She would remain the youngest champion in the 100 until 2019 The Bowerman winner Sha’Carri Richardson unseated her from that perch).
Her victory in 2000, run into only the third headwind in meet history until that point, gave her the first freshman-sophomore combination in the event by anyone since Auburn’s Harvey Glance in 1976 and 1977, and her leadoff leg helped USC win the 4×100 relay title, its first for the women’s team.
In 2001, she became the event’s first female three-time winner and led the Women of Troy to their first women’s team title – made only sweeter by beating crosstown rival UCLA.
The fourth crown was a coronation on June 1, 2002, but just by the slimmest of margins (0.01) over teammate Natasha Mayers as USC joined powerhouses Florida State (1984) and LSU (1989, 1996) to finish 1-2 in the event. Thanks to that effort, the Women of Troy landed on the podium, just like the Seminoles and Tigers in each of those previous years.
“Williams was overcome with her accomplishment and was crying as she jogged to the stands to celebrate with family and friends following the race,” wrote Scott Davis in Track & Field News about Williams’ fourth consecutive victory in 2002.
“Such a big load has fallen off me now,” Williams said. “I never had to lean to win a race before.”
The NCAA and collegiate track & field will mark a momentous milestone in the spring of 2021 -- the 100th anniversary of the NCAA Championships and with that, the NCAA Track & Field Championships. In June 1921, the University of Chicago hosted the first track & field championships in NCAA history.
This point can’t be emphasized enough: Not only was the event the first for NCAA track & field, but the first championships for any sport under the sponsorship of the NCAA.
To celebrate, over each of the next 365 days, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) will celebrate moments, student-athletes, and coaches that have made a century’s worth of championships special. From humble beginnings to important historical milestones to the modern-day, collegiate track & field has evolved with the American society.
The 2021 edition of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships begin with preliminary round action on May 27-29 in Jacksonville, Fla., and College Station, Texas. The championships final site and culmination of the celebration is slated for June 9-12, 2021 at the newly rebuilt Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Ottey’s Audacious Quadruple In 1983
Merlene Ottey of Nebraska sought to win NCAA titles in the 100, 200, 400 and 4×100 relay in 1983.
He’s Great: LSU’s Davis Soars To History
Walter Davis, who turns 41 today, scored 22¼ points at the 2002 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship to lead LSU to the national team title.
Scott Neilson Is NCAA T&F’s Mr. Canada
Scott Neilson of Washington won four consecutive hammer throw titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field Championships between 1976 and 1979.
A Crowning Moment For Rogers In 2017
Back in 2017, Raevyn Rogers of Oregon dazzled at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a victory in the 800 and a sizzling anchor on the winning 4×400 relay.
Robinson Brothers Make NCAA T&F History
Can you name the first set of siblings to win NCAA Track & Field titles? We’ll give you a hint: Their last name is Robinson.
UTEP’s Nyambui Goes 7-For-7 Outdoors
Suleiman Nyambui of UTEP never lost a race at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He went a perfect 7-for-7 over four years.
Oxy’s Gutowski Vaults To Record Heights
Bob Gutowski of Occidental won the pole vault at the 1957 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a clearance of 4.82m (15-9¾), a mark that surpassed the world record but was never ratified.
Guthrie-Gresham Generates Greatness
Diane Guthrie-Gresham of George Mason broke the collegiate record in the heptathlon with 6527 points at the 1995 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Conway Raises The Bar In 1989
Hollis Conway of Southwestern Louisiana set the American record and collegiate record in the high jump at the 1989 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships!
Conley Soars; Razorbacks Complete Triple Crown
Mike Conley scored 28¾ points to lead Arkansas to its first outdoor team title, which completed the vaunted “Triple Crown,” as the program also captured the cross country and indoor titles already in the academic year.